Don’t shout. I can hear you.

Milo on possum watch

Milo on possum watch

Today is when life will once again be beckoning. A positive lift in spirit has taken an unexpected hold. A boldness surging up. Just now I took the reckless ‘two steps at a time’ in climbing the stairs without the extra aid of grabbing the handrail nor pushing down on my knees to gain extra leverage. Not a bad effort for someone often steeped in self reflective autumnal downwards, downstairs mood. I will have to watch my heart. Take it easy, old man. Sprightly but not foolishly stupid.

The reason for this yellow-orange exuberance might have something to do with finally getting my new hearing aids. It could be nothing more mundane than that. It seems puzzling. No spiritual awakening or fresh insights, No, just hearing aids from the Australian Hearing Centre here in Bowral. The old hearing aids were not working and causing increasing isolation. As I have said before, I just guessed what people were saying by answering yes or no. I took a gamble which of course has a success rate of fifty percent. If the facial expression showed my stab to be wrong I would do some verbal gymnastics, hoping it would become more acceptable. At best, it would be a conversation twisting and turning, often with unusual results, at worst I was seen as someone ripe for the funny farm.

The effect of hearing loss cuts both ways, H became isolated as well. I mean, we are each others best, and often only friends. It is hard when conversation becomes so difficult that at times H wrote down the words. We are both lovers of conversation and used to chatter and hearing the sounds of each other’s voice. We don’t listen to radio nor watch much TV, preferring to talk instead. Nothing profound, earth shatteringly evocative or enlightening, just about jingle bells or the state of the Lobelias. In that you need reasonable hearing. Hence, going without for almost three months was a punishment my lovely H did not deserve.

The old ones were going to be repaired but somehow after waiting for a month was told they were beyond repair. It is a long boring story, but three months without hearing aids wasn’t fun. Things became pretty quiet and at times terse and sad.

Today, at 1pm sharp I will be fitted with new ones. They will come in their own little box and pamphlet on how to care for them. The box will have a little brush and other tools on how to fit batteries and keep dry with a pouch that will drain moisture when stored during the night. I am excited, can’t wait! I decided to accept for an extra $ 800.- a better version of hearing aids that have an option to keep out background noises. The idea is that in restaurants or places with lots of people talking, the chatter will be cut out and I’ll hear better those talking close by. The idea is though to try and be situated with a wall as background. I can just see myself entering a café with Helvi scanning the seating arrangements ideally suited for maximum use of my new hearing ‘devices’.

In any case, “don’t shout, I can hear you now.”

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36 Responses to “Don’t shout. I can hear you.”

  1. Master of Something Yet Says:

    Knowing how irritating it is when the tv volume is too low and I can only catch every tenth word, I can only imagine how awful it would be to deal with that all day, every day for three months. No wonder you are excited! HOORAY!! (Oh. Is it okay to shout if it’s a cheer?)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. rod Says:

    This is good news. I hope they work well.
    I hear the advanced models come with a politician filter.

    Like

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      I am getting ready to pick them up. Had a shower and breakfast. The politicians meta-data retention is automatically put in the thrash section of the hearing aids which recycles it into soothing sounds of rushes being blown by a gentle wind.

      Liked by 3 people

  3. Silver in the Barn Says:

    I couldn’t be happier for you. As you know, my Jen is deaf and the isolation is terrible. The strain on relationships is keenly felt by all. It becomes so difficult to communicate that one withdraws from doing it all and enters that internal world full of depression and darkness. People underestimate, in my experience, just how awful hearing loss is thinking it infinitely worse to be blind. I’m not so very sure at times which I would choose if forced. God, sorry, Gerard, you write a happy post and I descend like the Voice of Gloom! The subject is one so near to my heart.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Sorry for you and Jen. It is difficult and so unfair. My mum was deaf and had lots of hearing aids. I got her gene.
      Did you not write that Jen had a Cocklear implant? How well does it work?

      Like

      • Silver in the Barn Says:

        Oh, Gerard, it works superbly. Infinitely better than the hearing aid, truly. It has made the biggest difference in our lives. I don’t toss around the word “miracle” loosely, but it really is. Jen’s hearing loss was so profound that there was no help from hearing aids. Without the cochlear implant, I cannot imagine what we’d do.

        Liked by 3 people

      • gerard oosterman Says:

        Glad to hear that your Jen has been helped so much by the Cochlear implant.

        Like

  4. Yvonne Says:

    WOOT! I hope those aids work like a charm for you, and you retain that spring in your step, to bound up the stairs like a gazelle!

    Like

  5. bkpyett Says:

    Shall be very interested to hear how much more effective these new ones are Gerard. I have the basic ones and am very grateful for them. Chris recently lost his hearing suddenly in one ear. His 30 day trial of one hearing aid that seems very difficult to insert, may not be successful. It does change ones life, such a small thing!

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      I have the basic ones, behind the ear. They are provided by the Hearing Aid of Australia, part of the benefit of having a part pension.
      I am wearing the new ones now and they work very well. I chose an option whereby background noises automatically get reduced. That option cost $ 800.-for both hearing aids.
      A hearing aid should not be difficult to insert. Perhaps Chris should get a look at it again.

      Like

  6. Silver in the Barn Says:

    Barbara, does Chris have total loss just like that in the one ear? My experience with hearing from only one ear is that you lose your stereo abilities. You can’t tell where sound is coming from although you can still hear something. I will call Jen’s name and she turns her head in the complete opposite direction of where I am. She has to twirl to find me. They explained to me that’s why we have two ears; it allows us to detect the direction of sound. I hope Chris’s problem can be rectified somehow.

    Like

  7. Patti Kuche Says:

    I am always touched by how much you and the lovely H mean to each other.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Carrie Rubin Says:

    I don’t blame you for being excited. It’ll be like being born again. Good luck!

    Like

  9. berlioz1935 Says:

    All the troubles with hearing described here are known to me. I don’t know how Beethoven could write the 9. Symphony without hearing.
    It seems cruel to take away his hearing. Perhaps it was necessary in order not distract his inner ear by hearing other sounds.

    We saw the film “The Theory of Everything” about the life of the cosmologist Stephen Hawkins. He suffers from Motor Neuron Disease, perhaps not to distract his brain from working 100%.

    Anyway, while we were in Germany in 2012 we saw a sign outside a hearing clinic with a quote by the German Philosopher Emanuel Kant:

    “Not to be able to see separates us from things,
    not to be able to hear separates us from people!”

    It means that the loss of hearing is worse than the loss of sight.

    The affliction in the case of Beethoven and Hawkins, it could be said they helped him to concentrate better in their chosen fields.

    In my case, the loss of hearing gives me only grief.

    Like

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      You are right. I am sure Uta would agree. Have you tried getting new hearing aids fitted. The technology has improved a lot. I can now hear Helvi moving about in another room. Domestic sounds are also lovely to hear.
      I love Beethoven’s music, a genius whose music has passed the time.

      Like

  10. thevenerable1 Says:

    I really hope they work out for you, Gerard: these damned things are not always fun.

    Like

  11. thevenerable1 Says:

    P.S. I LOVE Milo on possum watch !🙂

    Like

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, and to think he does it to protect us. The naughty possums. He will sit like that for hours. The possums always seem to beat him climbing up the trees. They somehow get on the roof and then jump into the trees.
      They have a very active love life which is one more reason for Milo to be very miffed.( pissed off)
      He has been castrated.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Curt Mekemson Says:

    Good news, Gerard. Communication is so important. Peggy speaks sign language if I ever need it.

    Seeing Milo at the top made me think of his tail wagging communication.🙂 –Curt

    Like

  13. Dorothy brett Says:

    Another
    well written piece, I love some of your descriptions such as “verbal gymnastics”.
    And milo “on possum watch “

    Like

  14. kaytisweetlandrasmussen83 Says:

    Wonderful news Gerard. Can you hear me? Sound is so important. I see a lot of people using the old method you have been using—just smile and nod. But as you say, hearing aids are so expensive and not always perfect. But something is better than nothing. I like that you and H are one another’s best friends. It’s the same around here. We chose well obviously.

    Like

  15. roughseasinthemed Says:

    I get tinnitus from time to time, or rather I have brief periods without tinnitus, and I’ve temporarily lost my hearing in the same ear a couple of times. Although it briefly comes in useful for ignoring Partner, it’s hellish difficult for a real conversation. Annoying too, my hearing used to be good to make up for my crap eyesight.

    You have my total sympathy as your loss sounds a million times worse than my inconvenience. Fingers crossed for a bright shiny noisy new world.

    Like

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      I have heard that tinnitus is hellish. Heaven knows what lies ahead. As long as I can keep up putting a few words down and keep recognizing others I’ll be happy.

      I often see old people looking bewildered, especially men in shopping centres, being dragged along by still very fit looking wives.

      To realize they once were the bulls, the procreators with ardent passions, ram rod unstoppable fornicators.

      And now…reduced to pith and pathos, limp and forlorn…so lost in decay and senility, being dragged along the dairy division of the shopping mall.

      Like

      • roughseasinthemed Says:

        Highly unlikely in our case. You won’t see me at the supermarket in a blue fit. If he can get there on his own, no point me going. I haven’t been for nearly a year. Bliss I tell you. Long may it continue.

        Like

  16. petspeopleandlife Says:

    Well shout from the roof top if you can hear again. Nothing better. Now Helvi will need to be careful with any sassy back talk since you can hear again. I’m glad for you, Gerard.

    Like

  17. hilarycustancegreen Says:

    Wonderful news, it is my dread that I will lose my hearing as I would struggle to survive without music, never mind human communication. This is another reminder to me. I MUST go and get my hearing checked. My husband and I are continually having we we refer to as the …’turned out nice again’ conversations.

    Like

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